“We have always wanted to embark on a river cruise but we had mixed reports from friends, so we went along to Abbotts Travel for some expert advice… which resulted in us making a booking.
The touring company we chose was APT and they were perfect at crossing every T and dotting every I, just the way Abbotts Travel do.
We flew to Amsterdam where we were greeted by a host and transferred to the ship, which was incredible. It was very comfortable and unlike cruise liners it was a more intimate affair, with only 160 passengers.
The ship had two restaurants, a hairdresser and beauty area, a gym and a small swimming pool.
Our journey began in Holland, before travelling through Germany, Austria and finishing in Hungary. The scenery was spectacular, and one that could be admired from your room with a glass of something agreeable.
I was truly amazed by the mechanics that go into the operation of the locks, it was mind-blowing and a full commentary is given if you wish to be informed.
The food was amazing and drinks are included in the package, which was a relief to my husband as I do enjoy a light sherry every now and then.
Excursions are also included, which catered for everyone young, disabled and us mature ones. Bicycles were available for those energetic passengers or there was always the option to stay onboard.
Many special events were arranged, one involved dinner in a castle with a princess. She said her home is not home without people to entertain, so she put on an excellent spread of food and you could wander around and enjoy the magical atmosphere of the castle. It was just amazing, particularly the champagne.
Another evening we had a private musical spectacular, I can’t find the words to describe it but the whole thing blew us away. A private concert with just 160 guests in the most magnificent building, produced a night we will never forget.
The small villages that we moored up in were more fascinating to us than the larger towns and cities. Sometimes we were on the ship all day but there was never a dull moment, with cooking demonstrations, traditional dancing and glass bowling.
One of the day excursions saw us travel on the orient express (at least that is what it felt like), where we enjoyed our champagne breakfast.
Vienna was very special and we loved the Wiener schnitzel and the Apple Strudel. Yummy!
Then on to Budapest, where we enjoyed a magical view from the top deck of the ship whilst drinking a warmed wine. Wrapped up in the blankets, we slowly cruised down the river and watched a spectacular of Budapest lights at night with the music of Strauss playing in the background, it was truly a magical experience.
We found the holiday crammed with variety, so much professionalism and with the perfect balance of relaxation.
It is another holiday ticked off my bucket and I am very tempted to book another one. Abbotts Travel get ready for us to be back in the shop very soon and thank you for all your advice, we really do appreciate your hard work.”
Linda and Dickie